Second Opinion "Fecal Incontinence" on WXXI-TV

Second Opinion "Fecal Incontinence" on WXXI-TV

Sat, 12/18/2010 - 3:00pm

Pictured: Dr. Peter Salgo


Credit: WXXI

Fecal incontinence can be both private and embarrassing but there are effective treatments that can dramatically improve quality of life.

More than 5.5 million Americans experience loss of bowel control. It affects people of all ages, and can be devastating to a person’s self esteem and family life. Knowing what treatments are available can improve bowel control and makes incontinence easier to manage. Second Opinion "Fecal Incontinence" airs Saturday, December 18 at 3 p.m. and Sunday, December 19 at 1:30 p.m. on WXXI-TV/HD (DT21.1/cable 1011 and 11).

Fecal incontinence is the inability to control your bowels. When you feel the urge to have a bowel movement, you may not be able to hold it until you get to a toilet. Or stool may leak from the rectum unexpectedly, sometimes while passing gas. It affects people of all ages—children and adults. Fecal incontinence is more common in women and older adults, but it is not a normal part of aging.

Loss of bowel control can be devastating. People who have fecal incontinence may feel ashamed, embarrassed, or humiliated. Some don’t want to leave the house out of fear they might have an accident in public. Most try to hide the problem as long as possible, so they withdraw from friends and family. The social isolation is unfortunate but may be reduced with treatment that improves bowel control and makes incontinence easier to manage.

Mammography, racial disparities in cardiac care, and cervical cancer vaccine are just three of the controversial topics Second Opinion: Taking Charge of Your Healthcare tackles this season. The national health care series produced by WXXI, University of Rochester Medical Center, and West 175 Productions returns for a seventh season on public television in October, 2010.  For years, Second Opinion has improved viewers' health literacy by providing insight into how doctors make decisions. With a better understanding of complex health issues, patients can navigate the medical system for better health outcomes.

Emmy Award-winning veteran host Dr. Peter Salgo returns to incite some of the most open and honest medical conversations found on television today. In each episode of Second Opinion Dr. Salgo presents an actual medical case to a panel of experts that includes three specialists, a primary care physician, a patient diagnosed with the condition, and an expert in doctor-patient communication. The panelists are not allowed to review the case file before the cameras roll. This keeps the conversation authentic — mirroring the doctor-patient exchanges that occur across America every day.

"The patient is a critical member of his or her healthcare team and needs to be empowered to act as such," says Dr. Salgo. "By putting doctors on the spot as to why they make the decisions they do, we make medical care more transparent and less intimidating. Viewers should be able to come away from each episode a little more informed and prepared to take control of their own healthcare."

In this seventh season of Second Opinion, Dr. Salgo leads the discussion on a range of topics, including: celiac disease, bipolar disorder, multiple sclerosis, racial disparities in cardiac care, mammography, fecal incontinence, the HPV vaccine and cervical cancer, spinal cord injury, breast reconstruction, late effects of cancer treatment, heart replacement, vitamin D deficiency, and dizziness.  

Among the experts appearing this season are: Dr. Brad Berk, MD, PhD, Senior Vice President for Health Sciences and CEO of University of Rochester Medical Center; Dr. Mona Fouad, MD, MPH, Director of the Minority Health and Health Disparities Research Center at the University of Alabama; Charley C. Della Santina, MD, PhD, Associate Professor, Division of Otology, Neurotology & Skull base Surgery in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Dr. Alice Flaherty, author of “The Midnight Disease” of Harvard University; Dr. Daniel Leffler, MD, MS, Director of Clinical Research at the Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center; Joyce Nelson, President and CEO of the National Muscular Sclerosis Society; Dr. James Abraham, Chief of Hematology-Oncology and Medical Director of Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center; and Dr. Eric Madrid, MD, author of “Vitamin D Prescription: The Healing Power of the Sun and How It Can Save Your Life.”

In addition to the weekly broadcast, Second Opinion engages and educates viewers online through a comprehensive Web site at Viewers can find in-depth background on numerous diseases and conditions. Second Opinion also sends out highlights via Facebook and Twitter.

A series of companion webisodes and video podcasts called Second Opinion “Stat!” let viewers continue the healthcare conversation in an interactive group online, where experts appearing on the program will publish articles and patients with similar diagnoses or conditions can connect with one another.

Second Opinion is endorsed by both the American Hospital Association and the Association of Academic Health Centers. Dr. Roger Oskvig, an acknowledged leader in Gerontology and associate professor of medicine at University of Rochester Medical Center, is the series’ principal medical advisor.

Seen on more than 250 public television stations across the country, Second Opinion has garnered three Communicator Awards, seven Bronze Telly Awards, a Gold Award from the World Wide Web Health Awards for Patient Education Information, and a Gold Aurora Award. The series is distributed by American Public Television.

Second Opinion is made possible in part by support from the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association (BCBSA), which has been the major funder since the series’ inception in 2004.